The Tribune (SLO) - - Front Page - BY GABBY FERREIRA

SLO County is start­ing to see prices at the gas pump fall just in time for Me­mo­rial Day travel.

Af­ter weeks of pain at the pump, SLO County is start­ing to see a drop in prices that topped $4 for the first time in five years.

Prices in San Luis Obispo were av­er­ag­ing $4.20 per gal­lon on Wed­nes­day, down from last week’s av­er­age of $4.25 a gal­lon, ac­cord­ing to Gas-Buddy an­a­lyst Pa­trick DeHaan.

“It looks like a lit­tle bit of re­lief has started, which is con­sis­tent with the statewide av­er­age,” DeHaan said. The av­er­age gas price in Cal­i­for­nia is $4.06 a gal­lon, down from $4.12 last week, DeHaan said.

In San Luis Obispo County, prices on Wed­nes­day ranged from $3.79 at the Sin­clair on Morro Bay Boule­vard in Morro Bay to $4.79 at the Chevron on Main Street in Cam­bria, ac­cord­ing to Gas-Buddy’s web­site.

Gas prices lo­cally hit $4 per gal­lon on April 16 and started slowly de­clin­ing af­ter May 5, DeHaan said.

The price drop comes af­ter statewide gas prices cracked $4 per gal­lon for the first time since 2014. Ac­cord­ing to AAA, Cal­i­for­nia has the high­est av­er­age gas prices in the U.S.

“We’re cau­tiously op­ti­mistic now that the worst is be­hind us and re­lief is on the hori­zon for nearly ev­ery area in the coun­try,” DeHaan said in a Gas-Buddy news re­lease. “Mo­torists shouldn’t get too im­pa­tient — this won’t hap­pen overnight — but as sta­tions be­gin to fill their tanks with slightly cheaper gaso­line, they’ll be­gin to pass the sav­ings on, just in time for Me­mo­rial Day and be­yond.”

How­ever, Cal­i­for­nia gas prices might not dip be­low $4 un­til per­haps June, DeHaan said.

“I think it’s in­evitable that prices in much of Cal­i­for­nia will fall back un­der $4,” DeHaan said. “The tim­ing is what’s up in the air.”

DeHaan said prices aren’t ex­pected to shoot back up any­time soon.

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